Justice Paula Da Conceição Machatine Honwana Sworn In As RSCSL Justice

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

In a significant ceremony preceding the Plenary of Judges, Justice Paula da Conceição Machatine Honwana was sworn in as a Judge of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone (RSCSL) on February 28, 2024. The event, held in Freetown, marked a pivotal moment in the court’s continued pursuit of justice. Justice Machatine Honwana solemnly declared her commitment before RSCSL Vice President Justice Emmanuel E. Roberts to uphold her duties impartially and conscientiously, without any bias.

Justice Machatine Honwana’s appointment follows the untimely passing of Justice Elizabeth Ibanda-Nahamya in January 2023. Her extensive legal experience, spanning over two decades, includes notable positions such as serving as a Judge of the Superior Court of Appeals in Mozambique from 2011 to 2014 and again from 2020 to 2022. Additionally, she contributed significantly as a Legal Adviser to the President of the Supreme Court of Mozambique from 2014 to 2020.

Her dedication to legal scholarship and education is evident through her tenure as a law instructor at prestigious institutions such as the Higher Institute of Sciences and Technology of Mozambique (ISCTEM) and the Centre of Judicial and Judiciary Training in Maputo, Mozambique. Furthermore, Justice Machatine Honwana’s scholarly contributions include co-authoring a handbook on wildlife crime for judges in 2022 and publishing numerous articles and academic papers.

Justice Machatine Honwana’s academic achievements are equally impressive. She obtained her law degree from the Faculty of Law at the University of Lisbon in Portugal in 1997, followed by a Master’s degree in Public and International Law from the University of Melbourne in Australia in 2017. In 2021, she furthered her expertise with a Postgraduate degree in International Contract Law from Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique.

The Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, entrusted with continuing the legal obligations of its predecessor, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, plays a crucial role in ensuring justice prevails. Its responsibilities encompass overseeing prison sentences, providing witness protection and support, managing archives, and aiding national prosecution authorities.

Justice Paula da Conceição Machatine Honwana’s induction into the RSCSL brings a wealth of experience and expertise, reinforcing the court’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and delivering justice in Sierra Leone.


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